Friday, December 30, 2011

A Few Last Minute Tax Ideas

The end of the year is here. Here are a few last-minute tax ideas that are actually expiring with the end of the 2011 tax year. Be sure to pay attention to the mortgage insurance premium deduction and the expiring home energy credits. The article, from the Inman News, can be found

Extreme Ice & Snow Homes - This Old House Photo Essay

Snow and Ice Houses - Nobody actually lives in them. They are not for-sale. They are often the epitomy of the impractical. But, they are fun, and very interesting. Some of these are available to stay in overnight.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dueling Monuments at First Encounter Beach

Many of us are familiar with the bronze plaque that stands to the left of the large parking lot at First Encounter Beach. Interestingly, there is another plaque at First Encounter that is a bit harder to find and tells a slightly different story. Check out this Cape Cod Times video, featuring Eastham historian Bob Carlson, who takes us through the history of the 'dueling' monuments, and the history of the events of Dec 8th, 1620.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My January 2012 Report Is Available Now!

My January 2012 report is available now! This issue of my newsletter has the sales results through November. You'll also get my "looking forward" commentary with my predictions for 2012. Additionally, you'll find a article about expiring tax incentives for homeowners and a photo-essay of ice & snow houses (Brrrr!).

This newsletter has been published every month for almost 9 years. My aim, with my newsletter, is to provide accurate sales and market information about the Eastham housing marketplace, to add commentary and opinion (as appropriate), and to keep it interesting. Download your copy of my January newsletter now.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Eastham Rental Home Permits - Going Up!

The permits required by all Eastham property owners for the rental of their homes for the 2012 season are going up. Surprise! The 2012 cost will be $75, vs $50 for 2011.  Ugh.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Shipwreck on Nauset Beach - The Montclair?

Shipwrecks seem to come and go on the Outer Cape. This one, thought to be the Montclair, has recently reappeared on Nauset Beach. Another piece of the Montclair washed up this past May. The Montclair sank in March 1927 just off-shore. Five men perished in the wreck. Watch the video from the Cape Cod Times.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Why List With A Top Producing Agent....?

When it's time to sell your Cape home, you do yourself no favors by picking an agent that isn't among the top selling agents. There are about 100 agents that sell in Eastham, but only a handful sell more than a few homes every year. Last year (2010) I sold 24 'sides' in Eastham (each transaction has 2 sides, a 'buyer side' and a 'seller side'). This year will be almost as good (check out my Sold Gallery).

Thought about selling your home?  Read the linked article for the 'reasons' to hire experience.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Bob Sheldon Quoted in Cape Cod Times

I, on occasion, get called by a reporter and asked about the current real estate marketplace. Sometimes I even get quoted in an article. Here is what I said to reporter Doug Fraser from the Cape Cod Times and published in the business section of the November 30th edition.

RE/MAX Classic Realtor Bob Sheldon says that buyers in his market still seem skittish. With more than half the homes in his town — Eastham — owned as second homes, Sheldon said many of his clients don't lack the cash to make a purchase but are worried about the future.

"I'm finding folks who get to verge of pulling the trigger and say maybe this isn't the time to be spending a half-million dollars," he said. "It's clearly a discretionary expense and they can wait a year."

Sheldon feels that uncertainty could linger into next fall, after the presidential election, when the course of economic policy will be perhaps a little clearer.

"I'm an eternal optimist," he said. "Going into the next year, the interest rates are down, the inventory is up, the prices are beaten down. Any lift on fears of the unknown and it will be gangbusters."
The whole article is worth reading. It's available online .... here ==> News on home sales mixed

November - Eastham Sales - Interesting!

Eastham's November sales were up from last month, but the numbers tell a confusing story. This year's sales lag 2010 by about 7%, year-to-date. The details....
  • There were 7 homes sold in Eastham in November, up 2 from October
  • Total sales were roughly $4.9M - the average home sale price was $767K (see note below)
  • The median sale price in November was $406K.
  • There are currently 124 active single family listings in Eastham, with an average list price of $554K and a medium price of $449K. The average days-on-market is currently 204 days.
Note: The average sale price is up dramatically from the 'norm' because we had a single sale at $2.5M. With a sample size of only 7, the average is swayed un-naturally. A better measure is the median price. All-in-all, it's dangerous to base trends on a single month's worth of data.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Home Appraisals - A New Problem?

Home appraisals have long been part of the home buying process. They are ordered by the bank or mortgage lender to ensure that they are covered should the 'new' homeowner walk away from their loan and forcing the lender to foreclose on the property. They typically will lend up to 80% of the property's appraisal value, or 80% of the agreed-to price, whichever is less. In the past appraisals have come in higher than the selling price of the home, so they have been simply part of the process, and not interfere with the transaction. More recently, however, they have come in lower than the price of the home, causing problems.

What are the options, for Buyers and Sellers? recently put it all together in an article that's a must-read for both Buyers and Sellers...... Here.